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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered by Robyn Bachar

Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered by Robyn Bachar
Publisher: Samhain Publishing LTD
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (267 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Water Lily

It’s better to be a bad witch than a dead one.

A Bad Witch story

One thing stands between Catherine Duquesne and happily-ever-after with her soul mate Lex—her unwanted bond with billionaire vampire Zachary Harrison. Married life is hard enough without adding an uninvited vampire to the mix, and being tied to Zach endangers more than just her relationship. If Zach dies, she dies, and with his new seat on the necromancer council being challenged by older, more powerful masters, his life expectancy is dwindling fast.

Vampire politics is only the beginning of Cat’s problems. Hunters are stalking magicians, abducting entire families and killing anyone who resists. As the current Titania and Oberon, Cat and Lex must protect their people, but Cat’s dark past keeps the victims from seeking their help. Worse, the former Titania’s granddaughter wants to oust Cat from the job, believing her vampire ties make her unfit.

To break the bond Cat must broker deals with devils on a journey that will take her to hell and back—literally. Freedom comes at a high price, but Cat will risk anything to save her people and her marriage.

Having loved the first book in the series, this installment shouted “Read me!” I’m so glad I did.

I loved Cat and Lex in Blood, Smoke and Mirrors and was thrilled to get to review Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered.

As you’d expect in a sequel, there’s less world building in this story and therefore who is who and what the rules are may be less clear for the first time reader, but if you’ve read the first one that shouldn’t be a problem. And if you haven’t read Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, you might want to.

Cat has developed and continues to develop skills in both fighting and magic department—skills she definitely needs both as an unwilling member of Zach’s “Team Evil” and Titania. As a relative newbie in both positions, there are more experienced/better qualified beings who think they have a right to both spots. Cat would happily give away her blood-bond with Zach, but it isn’t quite that simple. All this makes Cat’s marriage to her soul mate, the studly, ex-guardian Lex… complicated. Which sends them on a trip to Hell—literally. While the solution to some of the problems did come a bit easy, it worked for me.

I love how Ms. Bachar blurs the lines of good and evil in her characters. Like real people, no one is just one thing. Everyone has motives and, happily, in this story, the motives make sense. I particularly appreciated how “good” people in Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered occasionally make bad decisions, and how sometimes the best intentions have bad results. Best of all, “bad” creatures can actually be good, or at least better than those labeled good. It makes for a complicated, yet realistic world. Very fun to read.

Ms. Bachar does a fabulous job creating three-dimensional, quirky, secondary characters with unexpected loyalties which I especially enjoyed.

Keep ‘em coming, Ms. Bachar, I’ll have my eye out for future installments.